Expects to Flunk the Principal Survey

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How could this be? Did you fill out the survey issued by the LBUSD to identify priority qualities for hiring the new high school principal, replacing Dr. Culverhouse?

I did, but was flummoxed. Here is the first part:

1) “Select 10 of the most desirable qualities you place priority on”: Pro-active & positive, sense of humor, collaborative decision-making, hard-worker, consistent in discipline, great communicator, passion in all, approachable, well-organized but flexible, follows through; good listener, technology-focused, visible, engaged, knowledgeable about all students’ needs, honors the LBHS culture, instructional leader, problem-solver, passionate and committed to LBHS.

I didn’t select any of these; they seemed to all be minimal qualifications, rote adjectives, not constructive, and obvious to anyone as “par for the course”.  But perhaps this was the best selection available from the “Google Forms” vehicle used for the survey.

But not selecting any of these answers aren’t why I think I failed the survey.  Here are the next two parts:

2) “Are there any other qualities that you think are important for the selection panel and superintendent to consider in its section of the principal?”

My answer: Independence from the local cronyism that is developing around the Dr. Smith cult. A strong personality with new ideas to make teachers more responsible, encourage hard thinking in students instead of rote memorization, promote cross-social and cross-subject programs for multi-dimensional skill development applicable to college settings.  Strong visible presence on campus pushing LBHS spirit, uniqueness and pride.

Part 3) “Any other input that you would like to share?”

My Answer: To strive for and achieve excellence in school administration, which is a set of standards that the board should objectively adopt to begin with, the Top 10 Qualities above should be far more specific to LBUSD and not watered down standard survey phrases just reconstituted every fourth or fifth line. Specific long term priorities and resulting qualities should be thought about by the board, articulated in an actionable, local way, and presumed to be hard-ranked by survey takers. Challenge yourself, and challenge your audience; you have done none of that.

I don’t think that the culture of the LBUSD has changed towards the higher standards that would be reflected in a proper new principal best qualities survey.  So how could anyone get a passing grade?

Rick Putnam, Laguna Beach

Parent of past and current LBHS students

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